REFUGEE FAMILY SUPPORT VISA

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    Refugee Family Support Visa

    You can live, work and study in New Zealand. Include your partner, and dependent children aged 24 and under, in your residence application if they were first included in your sponsor's registration

    Things to note

    • We are currently only accepting tier 1 sponsor registrations
    • If you’re invited to apply for residence, you’ll have 12 months to send us your application.

    You must have an Eligible Sponsor

    Your sponsor must be a New Zealand citizen or resident who was granted residence on the basis of being a refugee or protected person, or as an Afghan interpreter. Your sponsor must also meet other tier one or tier two requirements. REFUGEE FAMILY SUPPORT CATEGORY SPONSORSHIP REQUIREMENTS If your sponsor doesn’t meet the requirements, they won’t be able to sponsor your residence application.

    Your sponsor must register as a tier one or tier two sponsor

    Your sponsor must complete a ‘Refugee Family Support Category Sponsor Registration Form’ and provide evidence of their immigration status, which can include any of the following:

    • A New Zealand resident visa
    • A New Zealand permanent resident visa
    • A valid New Zealand passport
    • A Certificate of New Zealand Citizenship>
    • A recent official statement of citizenship from the Department of Internal Affairs If your sponsor has changed their name, they’ll need to provide a statutory declaration certificate of their name change too.

    Refugee Family Support Category Tier One Sponsor Registration Form (INZ1094)

    Refugee Family Support Category Tier Two Sponsor Registration Form (INZ1192)

    Your sponsor should also attach photocopies of birth certificates for all family members they want to sponsor, if they are available. Only tier 1 sponsor registration is currently available. Tier 2 sponsor registrations will be returned.

    If birth certificates aren’t available, your sponsor can include identity cards instead. For you to include your partner and dependent children in a later residence application, they must be included in your sponsor’s registration.

    Your sponsor must have the means to make sure you have somewhere reasonable to live when you arrive and for your first 2 years in New Zealand

    Sponsors aged 18-24 must provide evidence they can meet their sponsorship obligations, which may include:

    • bank statements
    • a plan detailing how your sponsor will meet your accommodation needs for your first 2 years in New Zealand.

    If your sponsor is aged 18-24, they’ll need to include this evidence with their completed ‘Refugee Family Support Category Registration Form’.

    Invitation to apply for residence

    You must be invited to apply for residence

    If your sponsor’s registration is selected from one of the Refugee Family Support Category queues, we may invite you to apply for residence.

    If we invite you to apply for residence, we’ll send you a letter detailing all the information you’ll need to provide.

    If you’re invited to apply for residence, you’ll have 12 months to send us your application.

    You must provide proof of your identity

    • 2 acceptable photos
    • Your original or a certified copy of your passport or certificate of identity
    • Your original or a certified copy of your full birth certificate.

    You must be in good health

    You don’t need to provide any evidence of your good health, unless we ask you to.

    You must be of good character

    If you are 17 or over, you must provide a police certificate from:

    • Your country of citizenship
    • Any other country where you have spent 12 months or more over the last 10 years, even if you did not spend that 12 months all in one visit.

    How to get a police certificate

    Police Certificates must be less than 6 months old when you apply. You don’t need to provide any Police Certificates until you’re invited to apply for residence.

    For your partner and dependent children to be included in your residence application, they must have been included in your sponsor’s registration

    To include your partner and dependent children in your residence application, you must provide evidence:

    • of your relationship with your partner and dependent children, like birth and marriage certificates
    • that your partner and dependent children meet the identity, health, character and English language requirements for this visa.

    Stage 1 Sponsor's Registration

    Timeframes
    Registration processing within 4 weeks Registrations are processed within 4 weeks
    Process
    1. Your sponsor registers with us Your sponsor will need to complete a Refugee Family Support Category Sponsor Registration Form and send it to us with their registration fee and supporting documents.
    2. We select your sponsor's registration and invite you to apply for residence When we receive your sponsor's registration, we enter it into a Refugee Family Support Category queue for selection. If we select your sponsor's registration, we check they are an eligible sponsor before contacting them about their selection. After this, we invite you to apply for residence — You will have 12 months to send us your application. Residence is not guaranteed” as well as having a sponsor, you have to meet the other requirements for this visa.

    Stage 2 Resident visa application

    Timeframes
    Processing within 18 months 90% of applications are currently completed within this time. This timeframe combines processing times for different resident visas that we receive low numbers of. Individual processing times may vary.Timeframes are in calendar days.
    Process
    1. We make a decision about your application If there is anything else you need to do, we will be in touch.
    2. You apply for residence You can fill out a Residence application yourself or ask someone to help you. Because there are rules about giving immigration advice, it is important the person you ask is allowed to help you. You will need to send us your application together with your supporting documents and application fee.

    Conditions

    These are the conditions that you must meet

    Entry permission

    You must apply for entry permission when you arrive in New Zealand. You can do this by completing an arrival card, which you are given on the way to New Zealand.

    You can be refused entry permission if:

    • you don’t meet our character requirements
    • your circumstances have changed since you were granted a visa
    • you refuse to let us to take your photo, or provide us with your fingerprints or an iris scan, if we ask you for them.

    Arriving in New Zealand

    When we grant your visa, if you are outside New Zealand you and your family will have 12 months to come to New Zealand.

    If you and your family are unable to come to New Zealand in this time, your visa will expire and you’ll have to apply for a new visa.

    Your family must have been included in your resident visa application for them to come to New Zealand.

    Keep your visa in a valid passport

    If you want to travel, your visa must be in a valid passport.

    If your passport expires, you must apply to transfer your visa to a new passport before you can travel.

    To transfer your visa, you must:

    • send us your old and new passports
    • complete an ‘Application for Transfer or Confirmation of a Visa’
    • pay a transfer fee

    Travel

    You can travel in and out of New Zealand as often as you like until your travel conditions expire.

    To travel after that, you’ll need to apply for and be granted either:

    • a Permanent Resident Visa
    • a variation of your travel conditions, which would allow you to return to New Zealand at a later date.

    Your travel conditions will expire 2 years from the date you first arrive in New Zealand as a resident.

    If you’re outside of New Zealand when your travel conditions expire, your visa will expire as well.

    Sponsorship

    Your sponsor is responsible for making sure you have somewhere reasonable to live for your first 2 years in New Zealand.

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